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ORAU History - 2004

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) held the grand opening ceremonies for its new $8.9-million, 55,000-square-foot office building, nicknamed MC-212, and a completely renovated Pollard Auditorium, renamed the Pollard Technology Conference Center.

As part of the $1.4 million renovation of Pollard, ORAU leveraged a Small Business Administration grant with a corporate investment to provide a science and technology conference center that will enhance community economic development efforts. This multi-media center is integrated into the ORAU/ORISE infrastructure in a way that will substantially improve education and training activities.

The 55,000-square-foot office building, known as MC-212, opened on ORAU's main campus in May 2004. Helping with ribbon cutting duties were (from left) former Oak Ridge Mayor David Bradshaw, Chairman of the Board of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Bonnie Bruton, Oak Ridge Office Manager Gerald Boyd, and former ORAU President Ron Townsend.

ORAU partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to sponsor a national forum on high performance computing at the Library of Congress. This forum highlighted the importance of high performance computing to advancing scientific discovery and to stimulating economic development. A few years later, out of this partnership would grow the ORAU/ORNL High Performance Computing Grant Program for faculty at ORAU member universities to expand their existing research initiatives or to create new research areas.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) signed a four-year, $3.2-million interagency agreement with the California Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program. Under this program, ORISE will plan, coordinate, and conduct homeland security exercises for the State of California through grants provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

DHS asked ORISE to coordinate and co-chair the development of a consensus standard for radiation detection equipment. The standard covers the identification and use of specific radiation detection instrumentation, as well as three different levels of radiation training for responder agencies.

ORISE worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve information sharing between the CDC and state liaisons on the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). ORISE also conducted workshops that brought together state public information officers and health communications specialists to plan and develop appropriate communications strategies in the event of SNS deployment.

Continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the local community and to education, ORAU pledged $1 million toward the renovation of Oak Ridge High School.

ORISE was named the twenty-first DOE site nationwide and the first DOE site in the state of Tennessee to receive the prestigious Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star for its exceptional occupational health and safety programs.